Michelle Obama is receiving a lot of media attention after her confrontation with a heckler at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Tuesday. About halfway through the first lady’s 20-minute speech, a female gay rights activist began to shout a demand for President Obama to sign an executive order that would ban federal contractors from employee discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In contrast to her husband’s generally calm responses to hecklers, FLOTUS (am I the only one that thinks this acronym sounds like the name of a spa?) took a slightly more aggressive approach. “One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” she said to a roar of applause from the crowd when she was interrupted. Obama then left the podium and approached the protester, stating that the attendees could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.” The crowd shouted that they wanted the first lady to stay, and the woman was escorted out of the room. Michelle Obama then resumed her speech about the importance of educating children.
The protester was later identified as Ellen Sturtz, a member of the gay rights group GetEqual. As she exited the event, Sturtz shouted that she was “… lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.” Check out the audio of the incident below. She later told the Washington Post that she was “taken aback” by the confrontation, stating that the first lady “came right down in my face.”
The fundraiser was a private event held in Northwest D.C. at the home of LGBT power couple Nan Schaffer and Karen Dixon. Sturtz reportedly paid $500 to attend as part of a scheme cooked up by GetEqual to draw more attention to the employment discrimination issue.
While Sturtz’s cause was admirable, her choice of venue and target was extremely inappropriate. News sources are expressing mixed reactions to the way the first lady handled the situation, but one thing’s for sure, Michelle Obama has once again proven that she is not a woman to be messed with.